Dzi backs out

Thursday, 05 Oct 2017
Julius Manicad - Chief Correspondent - @JCManicad

Dzi Gervacio’s plan to return to the Philippine Superliga (PSL) is no longer pushing through.

In a shocking twist that came at the heels of her public apology last week, Gervacio bolted out of her verbal commitment with Foton in the PSL Grand Prix that starts on Oct 21 at the Filoil Flying V Centre in San Juan.

No less than Tornadoes’ team manager Diane Santiago made the confirmation to Volleyverse, revealing that the former Ateneo ace reached out to team owner Rommel Sytin last Tuesday to say that she’s backing out from her commitment despite training with them for the past couple of weeks.

Santiago, the amiable sister of Foton stars Jaja Santiago and Dindin Manabat, said Gervacio admitted to Sytin that she and her club in the Premier Volleyball League (PVL) have some things in mind, prompting her to reconsider her earlier decision of playing for the Tornadoes in the season-ending conference.

The possible reunion between Gervacio and the Tornadoes has been filled with a lot of drama.

After accusing PSL president Ramon Suzara of using his clout as ranking executive of the Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) in blocking the international transfer certificate (ITC) of PVL imports, Gervacio pulled off a stunner when she expressed her desire to play for the Tornadoes in the import-flavored Grand Prix.

Welcomed back

She was welcomed by the Tornadoes with open arms and vowed that they will help her apologize to Suzara, who was obviously hurt with all the accusations hurled against him in social media.

Gervacio issued an apology letter dated Sept. 11 followed by a personal meeting with Suzara, Sytin, PSL chairman Philip Ella Juico and the entire PSL executive board last Friday at a restaurant in Bonifacio Global City.

Suzara wholeheartedly accepted her apology, branding it as a “win-win solution” that could pave the way for peace and unity in Philippine volleyball.

He also assured Gervacio that she will be treated the same as other PSL players and hopes that she will play her best as the Tornadoes shoot for their third consecutive Grand Prix title.

A few days later, Gervacio had another meeting with Sytin. But the dotted lines were left unsigned.

“Yes, it’s very unfortunate that she didn’t sign a contract with us.”

“I heard she told Boss (Sytin) that she and her club, Perlas, have other plans. Before kasi when she joined us wala pa daw silang plano, pero ngayon meron na so she can’t join us na.”

Despite the obvious disappointment, Santiago still thanked Gervacio for considering Foton — her first and only team when she played in the PSL two years ago.

“We fought for her (inclusion) pa naman. But it’s okay, we respect her decision and wish her well. Dzi is such a good person. Maybe she has her own reasons.”

Volleyverse is still trying to get Gervacio’s side as of posting time.

Replacement

With the submission of the final roster on Oct. 11 drawing near, the Tornadoes are scampering for players to fill the void created by Gervacio’s absence.

Although their roster is already loaded with firepower following the recruitment of Sara Klisura and Dragana Perunicnic as well as the return of mainstays Manabat, Santiago and EJ Laure, the Tornadoes still need a veteran presence to stabilize their offense against the likes of heavy contenders like Petron, Cignal and F2 Logistics.

Santiago said they are now talking to some players, including those from Philippine Army.

“May mga kinakausap na naman kami to replace her in our lineup, but nothing final has been reached at the moment.”

“I think we just have to move forward from this and set our sights on defending our (Grand Prix) title.”